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Tianjin Classifies Blast-hit Buildings as Structurally Safe
   2015-08-26 19:58:20    Xinhua      Web Editor: Li Cong

A worker repairs outer wall at Tianjin TEDA Maple Leaf International School, which was partly damaged during the warehouse explosion, in Tianjin, north China, Aug. 26, 2015. [Photo: Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin]

Eleven of the 12 apartment blocks worst hit by the explosions two weeks ago in north China's Tianjin have been officially classified as structurally safe.

The city's bureau of land resources and house management released its conclusions from an inspection of the buildings in a report on Wednesday.

The one block not identified as "Class-A" was given a lower rating because a fire-damaged apartment on the 19th floor had parts of its rebar exposed to air, said Zhao Yi, chief engineer with the team that conducted the inspection.

The defect will not affect the major structure of the building, according to Zhao.

On Tuesday, five state-owned property developers in Tianjin said they had formed an alliance to purchase blast-hit apartments from willing residents and re-sell them after renovation.

Two explosions ripped through a warehouse in Tianjin Port, sending a shockwave into nearby residential communities, at around 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 12.

The death toll has risen to 139, and 34 others remain missing.

All the dead have been identified, including 84 firefighters, eight policemen and 47 other people.

Meanwhile, 527 people remain hospitalized, 34 of them in serious condition.

Meanwhile environmental monitoring showed no excessive levels of pollutants in the air outside the exclusion zone set up around the blast site through Tuesday.

However, excessive levels of cyanide were detected from water samples from six monitoring locations inside the exclusion zone, with the worst about 32 times the level officially regarded as safe.

In addition, cyanide was found in two seawater monitoring locations, but the levels were safe.

No cyanide was detected in groundwater near the blast site.

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